A Drift of Quills – Our Favorite Writing Tools

Today our writing group asked about favorite writing tools. I puzzled over the question while I cleaned out my pockets for the day. Old notes, a to-do list, a pen, a tattered emergency twenty, and there–a tiny thumb drive.

That is probably my favorite tool as a writer.

But before I explain why, let’s hear from the other writers in our group as to their favorite storytelling tools:

Robin Lythgoe

Author of As the Crow Flies

Robin’s Website

There are so incredibly many tools for a writer to use today. (Not like in the Old Days, when it was pen and paper, a set of encyclopedias if you were lucky, and the library!) What a wonderfully rich age we live in!

What are a few of my favorite things? Er… tools?

A computer revolutionized my writing, so…

Patricia Reding

Author of Oathtaker

Patricia’s Website

As I’m sure my fellow Quills have regaled you with their ready wit and humor, I will, for my part, dig in with the mundane. 🙂

Unlike some authors, I actually can imagine what it would have been like to write a piece of any length before the day of word processing programs, and the ability to find information through the Internet with a few simple keystrokes. You see, I did something of that nature when I wrote a law review article in my second year of law school . . . a while back . . . As I recall, it ran about 60 pages, to which was added another 25 or so in citations. Following the rules set out in The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, every comma, every semicolon, every space, had to be “just so.” (It takes a second book just to figure out how The Bluebook works.)

Read the rest here.

Parker Broaddus

Author of  A Hero’s Curse

Parker’s Website…oh wait. You’re already here.

I carry my stories around in my pocket. On that miniature thumb drive in fact. I don’t always know where I’ll be, or what computer I’ll be using, and I can’t stand working in different documents on different computers. So I keep my “active” or “current” document with me, always. Wherever I am, I can plug in my zip drive, open my manuscript, and dive in. No wondering which document has the latest edit or merging or losing bits due to multiple files.

I may scratch notes on the back of bulletins or scraps of paper when I’m away from my desk, in meetings, or on the road, but all of it finds its way to that little zip drive. Every few days I back up my manuscript to a permanent hard drive, but if you’re looking for the latest story fluff floating around the old noggin, it’s in my pocket.

I think I like keeping it close–the proximity. Maybe it’s a Gollum-like trait…

What about you? Do you have a favorite tool as a writer? A pen that simply sings, or a scratch pad that bleeds magic?

Comment below!

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4 Responses to A Drift of Quills – Our Favorite Writing Tools

  1. Great idea, Parker! Do you keep it attached to your keychain or something so as not to risk losing it?

    • P.S. Broaddus says:

      Great question! That’s where I’m a little odd. It is a tiny thing, only the size of my thumbnail and I don’t keep on a keychain or anything. I haven’t lost it thus far, but at the rate I’m losing my marbles, I’m sure I won’t keep it forever. 🙂

      • Robin Lythgoe says:

        I’d be afraid of losing it or accidentally putting it through the laundry—but what a neat idea, keeping your story so close.

  2. Pingback: A Drift of Quills: Break Out the Toolbox and Write! - Robin Lythgoe

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